EU supports change in governance at Nyae Nyae and N≠a Jaqna conservancies
The European Union has been funding the Nyae Nyae Development Foundation of Namibia (NNDFN) to provide support to the Nyae Nyae and N≠a Jaqna conservancies with the aim to improve their governance and inclusiveness.
This three-year project started in February 2020 and runs until January 2023. This was at the time that the COVID-19 pandemic struck and impacted this project in various ways. The pandemic has delayed and complicated both the planning and implementation of activities in the conservancies.
For large parts of 2021, there were travel restrictions in place, and even outside those periods, the organisation shifted focus to the provision of distant support. This was done to minimise exposure and protect the relatively isolated communities from potential COVID-19 infections. In addition, there were personnel changes in the conservancies, as well as major shifts in the management committees of both conservancies. This meant that much of the training of committees and office bearers had to be started from scratch.
Despite these challenges, NNDFN provided essential support and activities, which resulted in important achievements in the conservancies. Both conservancies successfully held their annual general meetings towards the end of 2021, with all necessary compliance documents and systems being in place.
These include; an annual budget, financial report, work plan, conservancy report, election report, benefit distribution plan and report, and a Game Management Utilisation report.
NNDFN also assisted the conservancies in successfully accessing and implementing COVID-19 emergency grants provided by the Ministry of Environment Forestry and Tourism. This has helped them to continue essential activities despite a loss of income. Some of the staff issues were resolved, staff management analyses were conducted, and the conservancies are working towards better systems for staff management. Communication problems and strategies have been discussed and addressed during meetings and training workshops, and small but important changes are being implemented.
In addition to general financial and management support, in the first half of 2022, the governance project will focus on vital activities like the constitution review, conflict management, and gender and youth participation.